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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

OHSU is involved in Paulson stadiums deal

When Portlanders get a strong hit of that real estate development scam smell, a number of suspects immediately come to mind. But who would have thought that Oregon Health and Sciences University had an interest in the Paulson soccer-baseball empire?

An alert reader points us to this document -- a disclosure of lobbyist contacts with Portland city officials for the first three months of the year. And there we find that OHSU had someone named Mark Williams have no fewer than five personal meetings with Fireman Randy to discuss "soccer/baseball." In 31 years in Portland, we thought we'd seen everything, but the explanation for this one ought to be a doozy. Williams heads OHSU's planning, development and real estate unit. How is that connected with the Paulson deal?

Vera Katz also showed up a couple of times to twist people's arms on behalf of Little Lord Paulson. She was towed in by a guy named Greg Peden of Gallatin Public Affairs, who saw more of the good Fireman than just about anybody that quarter. Nineteen personal meetings, to be exact. Sheesh.

While we ponder these facts and contemplate how they reflect on our local government, we can't wait for the second quarter reports, which ought to be arriving quite soon. Who knows who else may pop up?

Comments (29)

OHSU owns, controls, and influences a lot of land, and the city has been searching for a new baseball stadium location.

I'm not surprised the city and OHSU have be talking.

I have absolutely no knowledge of what might have been discussed, but I do think a great location for a baseball stadium would be on the banks of the river between the Marquam and Ross Island bridges, where Cirque du Soleil sets up when they come to town.

The whole Vera / Fireman connection jsut seems wierd.

When Vera shoved PFE thru, she made Randy look like a deaf mute chump. I guess Randy needed some lessons on how to do this.

BTW - Gallatin is like a den of thieves for ex-politicos, from the WW in Nov 08:

"Dan Lavey, Gallatin’s Portland boss, is a Republican political strategist best known for his work with U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith. On his staff is Greg Peden, a former City Hall lobbyist for the Portland Business Alliance. Shortly after Paulson hired Gallatin, the firm engaged Don Mazziotti, director of the Portland Development Commission from 2001 to 2005, to work on Paulson’s project."

These guye really don't care who they screw over.

The other scary thing about that lobbyist report is Gwenn Baldwin coming 2x a week to push the CC (or is it HQ) Hotel.

The whole Vera / Fireman connection jsut seems wierd.

Katz's love for developers and development is legendary. Much of the recent development that has turned fiasco had Katz's hand in it--South Waterfront, the Tram, the "Pearl" District.

And remember, of course--Adams was her understudy. When he leaves office, though, he won't be very Vera-like at all. I'd predict, in fact, that he'll move away.

Mark Williams used to run Civic Stadium, before going to work for OHSU. He's on the soccer/baseball task force.

Williams also oversaw the convention center expansion for Metro.

Maybe I was just naive but I used to think corruption was mostly on the East coast.

Mark Williams was appointed to the Stadium Task Force by the Mayor and Commissioner Leonard and he listed the meetings of the task force on his lobby report. All of these meetings were public.

Williams was appointed to the task force because prior to joining OHSU he was the general manager of MERC where he oversaw regional spectator facilities. He participated in the task force as an individual, not a representative of OHSU.

"I do think a great location for a baseball stadium would be on the banks of the river between the Marquam and Ross Island bridges, where Cirque du Soleil sets up when they come to town."

That's where OHSU plans to build the Schnitzer Campus, as soon as taxpayers give them a few hundred million bucks, and as soon as the Max gets built down there. They're going to have to put about 15-20 feet of fill down there to make it look right, which will be interesting to see... liquefy when there's a earthquake. But it's not OHSU's money, so it doesn't matter.

Mark Williams was appointed to the Stadium Task Force by the Mayor and Commissioner Leonard and he listed the meetings of the task force on his lobby report. All of these meetings were public.

Which has nothing to do with five recent, personal meeting with Leonard, in the capacity of lobbyist, representing OHSU.

Maybe I was just naive but I used to think corruption was mostly on the East coast.

The difference on the east coast is they give you a "deal you cant refuse".

Here, they just get to do whatever they want because they have voters by the short hairs.

Most voters here think as long as progressives are in office, all is golden.
Fortunately, a lot of people are finally seeing what is going on.

This seems to be the obvious effect when you take people with little or no business acumen (Adams/Leonard) and put them in charge of millions upon millions of dollars. They simply arent savvy enough to effectively manage it.

I almost think you should only become a mayor if you have proven yourself in the business world first. I wonder if there is a correlation between mayors with business backgrounds, such as Bloomberg, NYC with success as a mayor.

Oh for gosh sakes,

My participation on the soccer committee had absolutely nothing to do with OHSU. Sam appointed me to the committee because i used to run MERC, which included running civic stadium. I never had any private meetings with anyone on this thing--I just listed times i attended soccer committee meetings on my lobbying report where city commissioners were there (even though i didn't have to) because i like to err on the side of full disclosure on those things. Sorry, but there's no conspiracy here!!

OHSU doesn't have the money to develop the biotech Schnitzer site between Marquam and Ross Island bridges. Since OHSU has slightly discovered that biotech isn't the best means of achieving Developer Dreams, they are considering using 1/3 of their donated property for Triple AAA. This endeavor will provide them with some cash flow to get back to their original mission-Health Care.

OHSU's Mark Williams, sitting on the North Macadam URAC committee is in a fortunate position to help direct taxpayer money for baseball-urban renewal money!

The site has the potential to create a modest size ballpark with the potential to be expanded to MLB size. With two freeways, light rail, trolley and the river it has the potential to create major transportation gridlock.

Surprise surprise. Are there any shady deals in Oregon (or Florida) that OHSU is not involved in ?

Katz wasn't "towed in" by Peden. She works for Gallatin as "of counsel".

I think, but I'm not sure, that Gallatin is/was associated (or vice versa) with Molly Bordonaro.If that matters.

Who is going to pay for the OHSU land if a stadium is to locate there? wouldn't that drive up the costs of a proposed stadium exponentally and make it unfeasible?

I never had any private meetings with anyone on this thing--I just listed times i attended soccer committee meetings on my lobbying report where city commissioners were there (even though i didn't have to) because i like to err on the side of full disclosure on those things.

Odd indeed.

In this case, rounding up the usual suspects makes a lot of sense. Play it all again, Sam.

Anyone posting here old enough and alt enough to remember a little gem of a film titled "Property" about Lair Hill many decades ago.

Some themes just get new twists.... bet they never imagined the flying airstreams floating overhead, but they sure saw the land sharks known as developers.

The city's official web page on the soccer task force links to "meeting notes" documents showing five meetings, three of which do correspond with dates on the Williams lobbying list. There was also a task force meeting on Jan. 6, not on the Williams lobbying list. At the fifth meeting, on Feb. 3, the mayor was present -- not mentioned on the Williams lobbying list.

RANZ, what has and will in the future to help pay for a stadium there, is a lot of horsetrading going on in SoWhat-especially with OHSU. In fact, as we all know, the whole premise for SoWhat was based on horsetrading to keep OHSU from moving to their Hillsboro Campus, executed by Goldy, Katz and Sam.

Recently, some of the horsetrading with OHSU and the City has been:

1) the $5.5 Million for the OHSU Sport Club for biotech jobs (not);

2)the $3 Million from the City for parking spaces in the to-be-built OHSU Parking Garage that was to be finished about now, and maybe never will be built;

3) the $3.5 Million from the City for air rights above the Parking Garage for Affordable Housing which may never happen;

4) the giving to OHSU of $1 dollar for every $2 dollars in successful lobbied federal dollars;

5) the changing-of-the plans for the I-5/SW Macadam fly-over ramp costing $40 Million to an on grade ramp at $17 Million with OHSU asking for a large chunk of the difference to be spent for their Schnitzer Campus;

6) the moving of SW Moody to the west to enlarge the Schnitzer Campus land area at taxpayer expense;

7)the elimination of some N/S, E/W streets in the Campus to the land and cost benefit to OHSU;

8) the recent proposal to rescind the proposed $20 Million from SoWhat TIF, SDC, LID dollars to $10 Million with OHSU trying to get some of those dollars back-which they contribute little towards since they don't pay property taxes.........continue list;

9)then there's the Tram.

If a stadium plays out behind closed doors in SoWhat before the public even hears about it, money, favors, kickbacks, IOU's will compensate OHSU. We needn't worry-but should.

Take it easy, Jack, Mark "Antony" Bunster, Sam Adams/Randy Leonard loyalist, Lake Oswego resident, City of Portland employee, and wannabe political pundit/journalist, says you've been debunked.

So there.

There were also key task force meetings on Feb. 24 and March 3. Neither of those meetings is on the Williams lobbying list. Here's Williams at the March 3 meeting:

Was Leonard there? Were other city officials there? Again, odd.

Like AIG explored business opportunities outside the insurance business, OHSU is exploring business opportunities beyond treating patients, and teaching future doctors, nurses, and scientists.

That said, Mark always seemed to me to be a decent guy, and I believe his explanation about about the lobbying disclosures.

Interesting overviews...

I note that everybody keeps creeping around the fact that the site between the two bridges, owned by OHSU (thanks to a gift from the Schnitzers), and planned for a second campus...IS A TOXIC BROWNFIELD.

The entire site will need a membrane to prevent exposure of users. (Please add beaucoup buckolas for that.) That still does not explain how they will prevent saturation of ground water during high river periods into the contaminated soil and thence leach into the river at the shore.

The toxic brownfield problems for OHSU will be mitigated with two solutions paid for by taxpayers. This is another "horsetrading" gimmie for OHSU not listed above.

First, the site is generally 3 to 4 ft. below 100 year flood plain. Taxpayer dollars, like in the central area, is programmed to be used to meet this requirement.

Then, more recently with more defined plans for Milwaukie Light Rail and the MLR Bridge, the need for fourteen feet of fill was discovered. This is due to the needed gradual grade requirements for light rail through the north portion of SoWhat to approach the actual bridge to meet the water height requirements.

So this benefits OHSU with 14 ft of fill to solve the brownfield problems, but also helps them to allow for two to three levels of parking under any future buildings without disturbing the toxins and still have the main entry levels at the new grade levels.

A win win result for OHSU with taxpayers footing the bill.

Perhaps OHSU is looking at a baseball stadium in SoWa to bail out their red ink.

BTW, OHSU defaulted on the deal which in they got $3.5 million in borrowed TIF money back in spring of 05 for 100 parking spaces in their next building in SoWa.
The details aren't out but some cooked up repayment scheme is surfacing.

I can just imagine how the debt will get cleaerd and no money comes back while the TIF debt created to pay if takes peorty taxes to retire it.

In case you didn't know that parking space deal was a cooked up way to hand OHSU millions of dollrs as the city was wrestling to get bigger shares of the saoring Tram cost. At the same time Homer was handed 6.3 million in cash for TIF funds.
Isn't it amazing how they get people to agree tho things by handing them millions?

So will OHSU pay back the $3.5 million? They dont have it so where would it come from?
The 3.5 million came from TIF street funds for Sowa which had to be then back filled with PDOT general fund millions.
You know, pot hole money Creeoy said they didn;t have and TIF money couldn't be used for street maintenance.

Oh there's more but I'm sick of this.
Now good evening.


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